The Final Sale: Support Pours in for Texas Trooper Chad Walker Killed on Duty
USFR-FTF Walker Strong
A livestock show and sale in Limestone County, Texas, turned into much more than a sale last week. Chad Walker – a Texas DPS trooper – was ambushed and shot on the side of the road in a rural part of the state last Friday. The incident shattered the small Texas community just hours before the scheduled livestock sale was to take place.
“The incident happened on Friday late afternoon and the sale was on Saturday at noon,” says Ty deCordova, Limestone County Fair Association president who oversaw the sale.
After the incident occurred, Walker was rushed to Waco and those close to him say they knew he was in for the fight of his life. As medical professionals worked to save Walker, the tragedy struck close to home for the Limestone County Livestock Association.
“He was an awesome father, an awesome friend, an awesome husband,” says deCordova. “Just always happy. He always had that little smile on his face, you know, when he came up to you. He's good people, and he dedicated his life to civil service and just loved to help folks. If you ever needed him, you could call him. He’d help anybody. He never met a stranger.”
Walker wasn’t just a friend and former classmate of deCordova’s. He was a staple in the area. Most importantly, he was a father to two girls who showed at the fair only a few days before Walker was shot.
“We were sitting there doing the sale order, and it just laid out that we were selling the girls’ rabbits last. It just fell in the sale order that way,” says deCordova.
The Walker family’s rabbits were the final item to sell, and deCordova doesn’t think that happened by chance. As soon as the community started to learn about what the Walker family was going through, the livestock community stepped in to help.
“It was just kind of breathtaking,” he says. “All the support we had. All the people there that donated. It just shows you that in our industry, our livelihood, the ag industry is full of faith and family. It gives you hope, I'll tell you, it does.”
Still astonished at how the generosity rushed in, he says it was an act full of faith for a family grieving.
“I didn't know how much it would be; I never dreamed this, for sure,” says deCordova.
As the support started pouring in, he says it almost seemed orchestrated. But it wasn’t. And it all started to happen before the Walkers’ rabbits even sold.
“You sit out there and look out in the crowd, and the people that are there alone, and they donated just over $58,000; it was breathtaking,” he says. “It was pretty humbling.”
A humbling act of generosity that wasn’t finished there. A buyer of a hog donated back the hog and $8,000 to the Walker family. But then it was time to sell the Walkers’ rabbits.
“And then we did sell Charlie's rabbits, they brought $1,000,” he says. “And then a group of guys put money together and donated another $6,000 on top of that. So, there's $14,000 and then $58,000.”
After Saturday’s sale, the Limestone County Livestock Association set up an account to accept more donations for the Walker family—an account that has already reached over $40,000 dollars in just a few days. But just as the giving wasn’t finished that Saturday, it continued all week. Thursday, Superior Land Auction and Network kicked off a scheduled sale and raised $11,000 during an event in the Panhandle. In total, well over $100,000 has been raised for the Walker family so far.
“The outpouring of people that didn't even know him, I tell you, there's a bigger plan here than we all knew, in my opinion,” says deCordova.
The love spans for miles, for a man many never met, but all who knew Chad Walker say he was a man of faith, honor and sacrifice.
“It's just what our industry does,” says deCordova. “We back our own, stand behind each other. I just love the community and this industry. There’s no doubt.”
On Wednesday, after days of fighting, Walker died. But those who knew him say he died doing what he always did, and that’s sacrificing, as they were able to keep Walker on life-support until they could harvest and donate his organs.
The Limestone County Livestock Association has a fund set up to continue to help the Walker family.